The UK entered lockdown on March 23 and life changed dramatically for everyone, writes Simon Jupp MP.
I’m used to regularly travelling across the East Devon constituency to meet people, businesses and community groups. Like everyone else, I’ve had to adjust the way I work on your behalf.
Throughout the last 10 weeks, I organised and took part in hundreds of online meetings from my kitchen table in Sidmouth, including my first question to the Prime Minister at PMQs.
I responded to over 2,500 local businesses and residents and I am continuing to work hard to resolve ongoing cases.
I went back to Westminster last week to represent East Devon as Parliament returned.
Westminster works best when MPs can debate issues properly and thoroughly, and hold the Government to account. This is what you’d expect, especially at this crucial time.
The first week back in Parliament was certainly different as everybody continues to keep their distance.
My daily commute on the tube was very quiet, with typically only one person per carriage and commuters wearing face masks.
The terraces of Parliament are usually packed during good weather – not this week.
Whilst many of my meetings are still held online, it is important to ensure East Devon’s voice continues to be heard in the corridors of power and I am able to vote on the issues of the day.
New social distancing measures put in place across the Parliamentary estate saw MPs queuing to vote.
Although some have complained about this, the inconvenience pales in comparison to the issues raised by constituents in recent months. Plus, I certainly got my daily steps in!
We must tread cautiously as we adjust the restrictions to protect our public services from being overwhelmed, recognising that it will take time for a vaccine to be found.
However, our economy cannot sustain the current measures in place. If we follow the rules, we can beat the virus and once again enjoy the freedoms much missed in recent months.
I’m here to represent you, no matter who you voted for. Please do get in touch if you need my help and I will do my best to assist.